• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Devolution, is the granting of power by a superior authority to a minor authority. The superior authority is usually central government and the minor authority a regional assembly.

Extracts from this document...


Devolution, is the granting of power by a superior authority to a minor authority. The superior authority is usually central government and the minor authority a regional assembly. Devolution is often presented as a means to make government more accountable, by allowing policy making to be carried out at lower levels. It may also be argued that devolution offers a means to reduce the size of government by dismantling central bureaucratic systems. Since the powers that are to be devolved are within the gift of central government, which is usually also anxious to ensure its own role and to maintain the unitary nature of the State, the result is often a compromise, with devolution taking place only down to certain levels and in certain functions, such as education and policing. Devolution is used in Britain for proposals for the establishment of local assemblies in the constituent nations of the United Kingdom with considerable powers over local matters. Northern Ireland had devolved powers via the Stormont parliament from 1921, although these were suspended in 1972 as a result of the deepening crisis there. The word became current in the 1970s to describe the moves to give Scotland and Wales greater self-government. The Kilbrandon Report, published in November 1973 following the successes of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru. ...read more.


In addition, there may be a blurring of the boundaries between the jurisdictions of each parliament, creating a potential for aspects of government duties to be neglected due to confusion over who holds the responsibility. Devolution has led to the absurd situation whereby Scottish Mps are allowed to vote in Westminster on matters concerning England, but English MPs have no say over matters relating to Scotland. This means that Scottish and Welsh representatives have in theory twice as much power as English representatives: this is clearly undemocratic. The creation of another level of bureaucracy is a drain on the finances of the whole country. The cost of setting up the Welsh and Scottish parliaments was �60 million and the running costs and salaries for elected officials and civil servants adds an extra burden to the economy - could the money not be better spent on health, education, etc. which would have a more obvious direct benefit for the taxpayer. The Scottish Parliament and the Welsh assembly do not have the same powers as Westminster, therefore all MPs have an equal say in the highest governing power in the UK. A further way to possibly resolve this issue is to devolve the English Parliament, as suggested by the Kilbrandon Committee. It makes for a far better democratic and representative system for decisions to be taken at different levels. ...read more.


There has been much public disquiet about the cost of the new parliamentary building at Holyrood. The sudden death of the Scottish First Minister, Donald Dewar, in October 2000, did not help to stabilise the Parliament. Dewar was rightly regarded as the elder statesman of the new Parliament and as a former Cabinet member of the Labour Government could command respect for his views in London. His death meant that the Scottish Parliament lost a valuable link to Downing Street. But has the Scottish Parliament achieved anything? In its first year it passed eight bills into acts and eleven bills were going through the parliamentary process. Therefore, in 12 months 19 issues relating to Scotland were either finalised or going through the process of being accepted or not. On average, the House of Commons passed one or two acts a year that directly related to Scotland. In this sense, the Scottish Parliament has been very successful. Prior to this in pre-devolutionary days, those who represented Scotland at Westminster could only present their issues within the forum of Westminster. Seven times a year Scottish Question Time was held. Now debate on uniquely Scottish affairs is a week-in week-out affair at Holyrood and Scottish issues can still be discussed at Westminster with Scottish MP's representing their constituents there as well as MSP's representing their constituents at Holyrood. In this sense, the Scots get a better 'deal' than their English counterparts as they have representation in two Parliaments. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the devolution process in Scotland and Wales?

    Devolution has been successful in this way because it has prevented any kind of surge towards full independence by either Scotland or Wales. There were concerns that the Scottish Nationalists majority hold over the Scottish Parliament after the elections in 2007 would lead to further demands for full independence.

  2. To What Extent did the reforms of the Constituent Assembly reshape France?

    By 1799 the peasants had bought 52% of the land, while the Bourgeoisie has bought 48%. The bourgeoisie often resold their land to the peasants, it is estimated that the number of peasant smallholders increased by a million between 1789 and 1810.

  1. Free essay

    Outline the principal sources of authority available to US presidents. How similar is executive ...

    Executive power of the federal government is vested in the president. He has the power to appoint ambassadors, members of the cabinet, Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of lower federal courts, with the advice and consent of the senate.

  2. Research Project - "Can the Central Bank in Jamaica be truly independent?"

    In order to achieve this, the Bank seeks to promote the development of the local financial markets and regulates and supports the major clearing and settlement systems through which financial institutions execute securities transactions and transfer funds. The safety and efficiency of these payment systems are therefore critical objectives of

  1. Explain and evaluate Locke's theory of government

    Thus, it is not only that the origin of the government is contractual, but also that the form of a contractual establishment of citizenship with reference to each person. Such concept of contractual attitudes between people as a whole and individuals, on the one hand and the state on the

  2. How successful was the government of King Philip II of Spain?

    The length of the Perez affair showed the inefficiency of Philip's administration, as it was over a year before he was silenced, and the strength of the popular demonstrations organised by the nobles grew. Finally, Philip sent an army and within two weeks the revolt had been suppressed.

  1. It is not enough for governments to have power, they must also have authority

    Power can be described as 'concerning fact or actions' whereas authority is described as 'concerning right' (Goodwin). A government's authority rests on its legal validity and the people's acknowledgement of political obligation which commands that they have loyalty to both the government and the laws.

  2. The Scottish Parliament despite its powers has been a political disappointment, whereas the Welsh ...

    In 1997 there was an incredibly close result with around 50% voting 'yes' to devolution with only 50% turnout, this means that only 25% of the total population of Wales voted 'yes' to devolution that was then implemented. This shows how the Welsh Assembly had an incredibly weak support from

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work